Author Topic: Stopping striving or not?  (Read 26424 times)

Dharmic Tui

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Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #125 on: August 03, 2014, 11:58:26 AM »
Thinking it over, I used the word usually because I do not know if the law of karma is true to the extent that the Buddha teaches, although I have experiences that validate the concept to an extent.
  That extent sounding like "more often than not". So is what you're saying now that sometimes (i.e. not that commonly)  from what you can see, people are the driving force behind their personal circumstances in this life, but most people's circumstances are dictated by previous lives?
I don't believe that you cannot make sense of what I have said.  I've reread it and I believe it is well within the grasp of your intellect.  You initially responded to my statements as if you had understood them, so that makes me think that you were either responding out of ignorance or you are bluffing.
I'm sorry you feel that way. My intellect leads me to believe it seems like what you're saying is that anyone doing well has created that situation, and anyone fairing poorly is doing so for the same reason. That doesn't gel with what I experience of people and life usually, it seems more like a self help mantra or a position of someone without empathy for people less fortuitous than themselves. Now it seems you've brought in a Karmic get out of jail free card, whereby someone can lead a good life in this life, and anything bad that happens is because of something they've done in a previous life. Do good and live your life honestly with integrity, but a bus might still run you over because you were a prick a couple of incarnations ago.

I would rather give someone the opportunity to flesh out or give relevance to concepts that on the surface sound spurious, hence I have asked you several times to do so. Although now it seems it doesn't matter because the discussion has devolved into magical thinking, so there's little real world relevance we can bring to the matter.
Perhaps the deaths of those killed in natural disasters are due to the fruition of their past karma.
According to what you are proposing, it is not a perhaps, it is a definite.

VinceField

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Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #126 on: August 03, 2014, 07:06:14 PM »
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That extent sounding like "more often than not". So is what you're saying now that sometimes (i.e. not that commonly)  from what you can see, people are the driving force behind their personal circumstances in this life, but most people's circumstances are dictated by previous lives?

"What I can see" in terms of my opinion about the concept of karma as related to my experience is of little relevance, as the moment you claimed that my opinion was contrary to the Buddha's teachings, I left my opinions at the door and focused directly on the teachings and how they related to the ideas that I had expressed.  I see people reflecting their circumstances and I see circumstances reflecting people, but what I see has little to do with the teachings that are being discussed, nor does what you see have much to do with the teachings, as we do not have access to the insight that is required to fully comprehend the fully scope and nature of the Buddha's teachings on karma experientially.

My understanding of the teachings is that although one can make new karmic actions in the present to have a direct influence on their future circumstances in this life, there is the factor of past karma which can manifest when the conditions are right.  According to the teachings, a persons initial circumstances after birth are dictated by the karma from previous lives, but the power of the individual to create new karma removes the factor of determinism.

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Karma does not imply predestination[edit]
The Buddhist theory of karmic action and result does not imply that our lives are predetermined because of our previous karma.[web 8] In the Buddhist view, our current situation is due to our past karma, but our future depends on the actions that we take from this moment onward.

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While we are born to a state created by ourselves, yet by our own self-directed efforts there is every possibility for us to create new, favourable environments even here and now. Not only individually, but also, collectively, we are at liberty to create fresh Karma that leads either towards our progress or downfall in this very life.

You said:
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My intellect leads me to believe it seems like what you're saying is that anyone doing well has created that situation, and anyone fairing poorly is doing so for the same reason. That doesn't gel with what I experience of people and life usually, it seems more like a self help mantra or a position of someone without empathy for people less fortuitous than themselves. Now it seems you've brought in a Karmic get out of jail free card, whereby someone can lead a good life in this life, and anything bad that happens is because of something they've done in a previous life. Do good and live your life honestly with integrity, but a bus might still run you over because you were a prick a couple of incarnations ago.

Like I said before, I have not been discussing my personal opinions, I have been discussing the Buddha's teachings and Buddhist interpretations of them.  I do not personally know the full scope of the reality of his teachings on karma, and the fact that your perceptions do not fit nicely with the Buddha's teachings is of little consequence.  It's funny, you seem to be in the same position as me when we were discussing the concept of God and No-Self.  Was it not my attachments and delusions that you claimed were the cause of me entertaining ideas that were contrary to the Buddha's teachings because my experience indicate otherwise?  I believe you are now in that very boat. ;)

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Quote from: VinceField on Saturday 02 August 2014, 11:21 PM:
Perhaps the deaths of those killed in natural disasters are due to the fruition of their past karma.
According to what you are proposing, it is not a perhaps, it is a definite.

This was my opinion.  According to the teachings, it would appear that it is not just a perhaps, but I have no way of knowing whether these teachings are true, so it can be nothing more than a perhaps in my mind.

Dharmic Tui

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Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #127 on: August 03, 2014, 09:46:52 PM »
One thing that seems common in your posts is a rather narrow view or an unwillingness to really stress test what you're claiming. This is partially why I wouldn't have minded you stacking up your experience with the theory to really examine both - this is an experiential belief system, not one based on blind faith. Karma is but a small element in the circumstances of an individual, one of five Niyamas (varying forms of causality). It should lead one to understand that while one has a level of control over their present and future, ultimately there is a range of other forces at play to numerous to predict and immense to control. We have a very limited impact on our overall circumstances, but we have somewhat of an ability to control how we handle them. This is what leads me to conclude that an individual is a reflection of their circumstances - but obviously they have a level of freedom to interact (but not necessarily change) with those circumstances. An individual can't control the weather, can't avoid their genetics, etc etc.

Instead you have singled out only one Niyama, viewed it in isolation, and ignored investigating how the real world may be at odds with it. It seems unlikely a Tsunami is going to discriminatingly kill people based on individual Karma for instances, and investigating Buddhist theory further might reveal why. Zooming out the microscope is beneficial for many reasons, both in terms of one's understanding and to diminish one's sense of self importance.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2014, 10:13:09 PM by Dharmic Tui »

VinceField

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Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #128 on: August 04, 2014, 12:08:37 AM »
This is partially why I wouldn't have minded you stacking up your experience with the theory to really examine both - this is an experiential belief system, not one based on blind faith.....We have a very limited impact on our overall circumstances, but we have somewhat of an ability to control how we handle them. This is what leads me to conclude that an individual is a reflection of their circumstances - but obviously they have a level of freedom to interact (but not necessarily change) with those circumstances.

As I have said before, the statements I made which you claimed were the opposite or reverse of the Buddha's teachings have come mainly from my own personal experience.  I have already stacked them up.  Detailing these experiences isn't going to change anything, but to put it shortly, time and time again I've witnessed the circumstances which have manifested in my life directly correlate with a previously acquired mental state.  I would first change my self in spite of my circumstances, and then would witness the circumstances in my life arise in accordance to the wholesomeness or unwholesomeness of the particular mental state that I had decided to adopt.  This especially includes times of drastic change.  My external circumstances would remain the same but I would internally change, and eventually my circumstances and even things totally out of my control would manifest in accordance to that internal change.  Hence, my circumstances would come to reflect the internal change that I created.

As I have already explained, the fact that we can change our mental state despite the nature of our external circumstances is proof that the individual is not necessarily a reflection of circumstances.  Otherwise the person wouldn't be able to change in any way that wasn't in accordance with their external circumstances.  Otherwise equanimity wouldn't be an option, as we would have to internally reflect the wholesomeness or unwholesomeness of our external circumstances.  Had I been a reflection of my circumstances by law, I wouldn't have been able to do anything but internally reflect the negative situations that I found myself in and wouldn't have had the ability to change my inner state.  Like I said, many people do reflect their circumstances, but this is not a universal law, but behavior born of ignorance.

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SN 35.145
"Now what, monks, is old kamma? The eye is to be seen as old kamma, fabricated & willed, capable of being felt. The ear... The nose... The tongue... The body... The intellect is to be seen as old kamma, fabricated & willed, capable of being felt. This is called old kamma.

"And what is new kamma? Whatever kamma one does now with the body, with speech, or with the intellect: This is called new kamma."

This sutta seems to indicate that our external world as perceived by our sense bases is the result of old karma.  In other words, everything that arises to the senses of our eyes, nose, ears, ect, which can accurately be called circumstances, is the result of old karma. Of course, our present internal experience is not necessarily a result of old karma because in the moment exists the ability to change one's mind and body via skillful thought and action, creating new karma.   

Like I said, this hasn't been an issue of stacking up these ideas against our deluded world experience, it's been about stacking them up to the Buddha's teachings.  I don't claim that these teachings are the way things are, I only claim that my personal experience validates certain aspects of the theory.  You may dismiss the Buddha's teachings on karma (namely that intentions and actions are the seeds which give birth to future circumstances, that everything that arises in one's life is a result of karma, and that the individual has the power to change in spite of the present circumstances born from past karma) in light of your personal experience, but just remember the labels you assigned to me when I did something similar (although I never actually dismissed the Buddha's teachings about no-self and no god, as I stated that their validity was a possibility, but simply wasn't in line with my own experience).


VinceField

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Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #129 on: August 04, 2014, 02:02:52 AM »
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/bodhi/bps-essay_46.html
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The ultimate implication of the Buddha's teaching on kamma and rebirth is that human beings are the final masters of their own destiny. Through our unwholesome deeds, rooted in greed, hatred, and delusion, we create unwholesome kamma, the generative cause of bad rebirths, of future misery and bondage. Through our wholesome deeds, rooted in generosity, kindness, and wisdom, we beautify our minds and thereby create kamma productive of a happy rebirth.

Dharmic Tui

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Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #130 on: August 04, 2014, 06:42:03 AM »
I don't claim that these teachings are the way things are, I only claim that my personal experience validates certain aspects of the theory.
Yeah I think part of the issue was you using the word "usually", and then making circumstances synonymous with karma. Karma is a piece of a much larger jigsaw, and from what I can see the average person doesn't make as much of an imprint on circumstances as vice versa.

Middleway

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Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #131 on: August 04, 2014, 12:08:36 PM »
When I grapple with concepts like rebirth, no-self, karma etc., I start with the following rock solid faith that:

1. Buddha was a man of high integrity and intellect. He saw the reality as it is and explained it to us without any filters using the common language that was prevalent during his time.
2. Buddha cracked the code to the universe that night under the Bodhi tree and discovered the highest truth.
3. There can only be one truth and all the subsequent discoveries by others and modern science would have to fit into the highest truth Buddha has discovered and not the other way around.

Buddha also said that "don't believe what I say, see for yourself". Armed with unconditional faith in his overall teachings, and his instruction to "see for yourself", when I view the external and internal world, everything fits nicely. I don't see any major contradictions between the modern scientific discoveries and his overall teachings.

I suggest you try this approach and see for yourself!

Kindly,

Middleway
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Marc

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Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #132 on: August 04, 2014, 01:28:14 PM »
Experiential knowledge is not propositional knowledge. What buddha discovered has nothing to do with what science has and will discover. Its like in the goenka course when he says that Buddha already knew before scientists the existence of the subatomic particles and their constant movement, what he calls kalapas if i remember, I found that funny. What is this Highest truth of the universe, the one and only?

also you don't seem to realize that unconditional faith is the opposite of the "see for yourself" mentality

Middleway

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Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #133 on: August 04, 2014, 03:15:07 PM »
Experiential knowledge is not propositional knowledge. What buddha discovered has nothing to do with what science has and will discover. Its like in the goenka course when he says that Buddha already knew before scientists the existence of the subatomic particles and their constant movement, what he calls kalapas if i remember, I found that funny. What is this Highest truth of the universe, the one and only?

Yes, I can totally relate to you and what you are saying above. When I read someone saying things similar to what I am saying now, I used to think "what is this guy smoking?" :).

also you don't seem to realize that unconditional faith is the opposite of the "see for yourself" mentality

Take for example, you say that "I just came back from Paris and Eiffel tower is spectacular". I may believe you completely but your experience is yours. I would like to go see it and experience it for myself.

Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

Matthew

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Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #134 on: August 04, 2014, 05:55:08 PM »
Like I said, this hasn't been an issue of stacking up these ideas against our deluded world experience, it's been about stacking them up to the Buddha's teachings.  I don't claim that these teachings are the way things are, I only claim that my personal experience validates certain aspects of the theory.  You may dismiss the Buddha's teachings on karma (namely that intentions and actions are the seeds which give birth to future circumstances, that everything that arises in one's life is a result of karma, and that the individual has the power to change in spite of the present circumstances born from past karma) in light of your personal experience, but just remember the labels you assigned to me when I did something similar (although I never actually dismissed the Buddha's teachings about no-self and no god, as I stated that their validity was a possibility, but simply wasn't in line with my own experience).

The trouble with this whole discussion is that knowledge of one's own rebirths and of the law of khamma are described in the texts as supernatural (or supra-mundane) faculties obtained by the arahant upon attaining the goal. As none of us has reached this point the discussion is falling often into the category of "speculative views" which are themselves an obstacle to progress.

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Middleway

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Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #135 on: August 04, 2014, 06:03:23 PM »
The trouble with this whole discussion is that knowledge of one's own rebirths and of the law of khamma are described in the texts as supernatural (or supra-mundane) faculties obtained by the arahant upon attaining the goal. As none of us has reached this point the discussion is falling often into the category of "speculative views" which are themselves an obstacle to progress.

If we attempt to understand these concepts at an intellectual level as best as we can but accept that our understanding is not complete as that of arahant's at this point in time, then it could be beneficial.
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

VinceField

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Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #136 on: August 04, 2014, 06:57:25 PM »
The trouble with this whole discussion is that knowledge of one's own rebirths and of the law of khamma are described in the texts as supernatural (or supra-mundane) faculties obtained by the arahant upon attaining the goal. As none of us has reached this point the discussion is falling often into the category of "speculative views" which are themselves an obstacle to progress.

If we attempt to understand these concepts at an intellectual level as best as we can but accept that our understanding is not complete as that of arahant's at this point in time, then it could be beneficial.

Absolutely.  The Buddha taught that a proper understanding of karma is essential to the path.

Middleway

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Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #137 on: August 04, 2014, 07:04:18 PM »
There is individual and collective Karma as well as cosmic Karma (E.G. The sun running out of fuel) beyond ones control. Collective Karma is not necessarily a reflection of the collective consequences and actions of "wills" of individuals - it's just consequences experienced collectively. Take a tsunami. In no way is the rising of a tectonic plate in a sudden, discontinuous manner reflective of the people killed by the resulting tidal wave's personal karma.

Karma is interactive - we can take actions to change our karma yet it is still woven with a rich tapestry of karma beyond our control, the karma of the crazed gunman who shoots your daughter at school, the karma of those doing the chosing to continue despoiling the environment and etc, etc, etc,.

Matthew

I will try to elaborate what Matthew has said with a few examples.

Karma simply means action. Every action has consequences to ourselves and to the world. Individual karma is actions by individuals. For example, my action of smoking cigarettes may cause cancer to me in the future (and to those who are around me by second hand smoke). My action of yelling at someone may make me feel bad and that person will feel hurtful. Simply put, anything I do (actions.. good or bad) have consequences to myself and to the world around me. Someone's actions caused all of us to suffer through the security screening and body scanning at the airports these days. An individual may pollute town's fresh water supply and may make the entire people in the town suffer including himself/herself. Some individual's actions may have profound consequences on the world (Hitler's actions as an example).

Collective karma is actions performed by more than one individual. For example, if we continue to pollute the rivers and other fresh water resources on earth, then we may not have adequate fresh water and we will suffer.  Polluting air is another example. Japanese people may collectively feel guilty (consequence) for the atrocities their army had committed (actions) elsewhere in the world.

Cosmic karma is actions performed by nature. Clouds bringing rain water to the farmers fields. Sun providing heat and warmth to the world (living forms). Flowers blooming during spring time. Obviously, all these actions have consequences to us (living forms) in general. The consequences of these actions to nature is not considered a bad or good consequence. A volcano erupting and changing the shape of the land around it has no consequence to the earth but may have good or bad consequences to the people living nearby. Actions performed by nature have no "doer" ego personality. Nature just does these actions. Sun rises everyday regardless of the increase or decrease in crime rates in the world. Earth quakes may hit certain areas frequently (California, Japan etc. ) but that is due to plate tectonics but not because the people living in those areas have accumulated bad karma.

If we perform karma like nature does (without ego doer personality), then we do not suffer. If we help the someone and they do not say thank you, we may get offended. But if we take our ego out of the situation, we just help and it doesn't matter.

As summary, anything we do individually or collectively have consequences to us and others. Consequences may manifest right now, in the near future or in the distant future. The consequences will occur as a result of actions.  And as Matthew said, karma is interactive.

This stuff so far is easy to understand and I don't think it is controversial at all. But when we talk about past/future lives or rebirth and karma in the same sentence, then things will quickly become controversial.  For that reason, I will try and tackle that in a separate post.

Kindly,

Middleway

Edit: One cannot (in fact it is impossible) perform bad karma without ego doer personality. Good karma - yes.
 
« Last Edit: August 04, 2014, 07:28:30 PM by Middleway »
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VinceField

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Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #138 on: August 04, 2014, 08:38:14 PM »
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Cosmic karma is actions performed by nature.

This "Cosmic karma" that you have described actually has little to do with karma, but falls into other classifications.  There are five niyamas, or universal factors that regulate cause and effect.  Karma is one of these five.  Of course, these five niyamas were not taught by the Buddha but appeared in later commentary.  That is not to say that the these other niyamas necessarily operate independent of each other, but rather it seems like they are all interconnected.  In other words, it may be erroneous to assume that some events occur totally independent of the factor of karma.

As Thanissaro Bhikkuh states in his commentary of Sutta 36.21:
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Some people have interpreted this sutta as stating that there are many experiences that cannot be explained by the principle of kamma. A casual glance of the alternative factors here — drawn from the various causes for pain that were recognized in the medical treatises of his time — would seem to support this conclusion. However, if we compare this list with his definition of old kamma in SN 35.145, we see that many of the alternative causes are actually the result of past actions. Those that aren't are the result of new kamma. For instance, MN 101 counts asceticism — which produces pain in the immediate present — under the factor harsh treatment. The point here is that old and new kamma do not override other causal factors operating in the universe — such as those recognized by the physical sciences — but instead find their expression within those factors.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn36/sn36.021.than.html

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Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #139 on: August 04, 2014, 09:32:04 PM »
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Cosmic karma is actions performed by nature.

This "Cosmic karma" that you have described actually has little to do with karma, but falls into other classifications.  There are five niyamas, or universal factors that regulate cause and effect.  Karma is one of these five.  Of course, these five niyamas were not taught by the Buddha but appeared in later commentary.  That is not to say that the these other niyamas necessarily operate independent of each other, but rather it seems like they are all interconnected.  In other words, it may be erroneous to assume that some events occur totally independent of the factor of karma.

Okay, the point I am trying to make is that there are natural actions (or causes) that affect us and other living forms. For example, an asteroid hitting the earth 65 million years ago and caused dinosaur extinction. A major river in South Asia has dried up and as a consequence an entire civilization collapsed.

I am glad to see you now seem to agree that the deaths resulting from a Tsunami is not a result of those people's past karma.

We are living in a closed/contained system in which individual and/or collective actions, and natural phenomena (if that sounds better) interact to produce consequences to us and other forms of life. While we can know most of the causes (actions) of those consequences, there are other causes we may never know. There are certain actions we can take and achieve intended results or consequences. However, there may be other consequences (resulting from action of others or natural phenomena) beyond our control and may interact with our actions and produce unintended results or consequences.
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

VinceField

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Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #140 on: August 04, 2014, 09:54:03 PM »
I am glad to see you now seem to agree that the deaths resulting from a Tsunami is not a result of those people's past karma.

Perhaps you didn't fully comprehend my previous comment and the commentary of Thanissaro Bhikkuh.  Give it another shot:

That is not to say that the these other niyamas necessarily operate independent of each other, but rather it seems like they are all interconnected.  In other words, it may be erroneous to assume that some events occur totally independent of the factor of karma.

As Thanissaro Bhikkuh states in his commentary of Sutta 36.21:
Quote
Some people have interpreted this sutta as stating that there are many experiences that cannot be explained by the principle of kamma. A casual glance of the alternative factors here — drawn from the various causes for pain that were recognized in the medical treatises of his time — would seem to support this conclusion. However, if we compare this list with his definition of old kamma in SN 35.145, we see that many of the alternative causes are actually the result of past actions. Those that aren't are the result of new kamma. For instance, MN 101 counts asceticism — which produces pain in the immediate present — under the factor harsh treatment. The point here is that old and new kamma do not override other causal factors operating in the universe — such as those recognized by the physical sciences — but instead find their expression within those factors.

The point is that the niyamas are interlinked.  Karma expresses itself through the other 4 niyamas.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2014, 09:56:47 PM by VinceField »

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Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #141 on: August 04, 2014, 10:10:23 PM »
I am glad to see you now seem to agree that the deaths resulting from a Tsunami is not a result of those people's past karma.

Perhaps you didn't fully comprehend my previous comment and the commentary of Thanissaro Bhikkuh.  Give it another shot:

That is not to say that the these other niyamas necessarily operate independent of each other, but rather it seems like they are all interconnected.  In other words, it may be erroneous to assume that some events occur totally independent of the factor of karma.

As Thanissaro Bhikkuh states in his commentary of Sutta 36.21:
Quote
Some people have interpreted this sutta as stating that there are many experiences that cannot be explained by the principle of kamma. A casual glance of the alternative factors here — drawn from the various causes for pain that were recognized in the medical treatises of his time — would seem to support this conclusion. However, if we compare this list with his definition of old kamma in SN 35.145, we see that many of the alternative causes are actually the result of past actions. Those that aren't are the result of new kamma. For instance, MN 101 counts asceticism — which produces pain in the immediate present — under the factor harsh treatment. The point here is that old and new kamma do not override other causal factors operating in the universe — such as those recognized by the physical sciences — but instead find their expression within those factors.

The point is that the niyamas are interlinked.  Karma expresses itself through the other 4 niyamas.


Sorry, please can you further dumb it down for me. What are four niyamas? How are they interlinked? How does karma express itself through the other 4 niyamas?

Is karma in this context you are describing still an action? Is the expression (of karma) means it is a consequence?

Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

Middleway

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Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #142 on: August 05, 2014, 12:05:50 AM »
Quote
Cosmic karma is actions performed by nature.

This "Cosmic karma" that you have described actually has little to do with karma, but falls into other classifications.  There are five niyamas, or universal factors that regulate cause and effect.  Karma is one of these five.  Of course, these five niyamas were not taught by the Buddha but appeared in later commentary.  That is not to say that the these other niyamas necessarily operate independent of each other, but rather it seems like they are all interconnected.  In other words, it may be erroneous to assume that some events occur totally independent of the factor of karma.

As Thanissaro Bhikkuh states in his commentary of Sutta 36.21:
Quote
Some people have interpreted this sutta as stating that there are many experiences that cannot be explained by the principle of kamma. A casual glance of the alternative factors here — drawn from the various causes for pain that were recognized in the medical treatises of his time — would seem to support this conclusion. However, if we compare this list with his definition of old kamma in SN 35.145, we see that many of the alternative causes are actually the result of past actions. Those that aren't are the result of new kamma. For instance, MN 101 counts asceticism — which produces pain in the immediate present — under the factor harsh treatment. The point here is that old and new kamma do not override other causal factors operating in the universe — such as those recognized by the physical sciences — but instead find their expression within those factors.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn36/sn36.021.than.html

I read the sutta several times and I cannot seem to connect the dots to what it is saying and how natural disasters that kill people are result of past their karma. Sorry, you lost me there completely.
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VinceField

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Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #143 on: August 05, 2014, 12:48:02 AM »
No problem buddy.  Google always works, but here's a link to some information about the niyamas if you're not in the mood to do a quick search:

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http://buddhism.about.com/od/basicbuddhistteachings/tp/The-Five-Niyamas.htm

Regarding the sutta and Therissano's commentary on it:

"The point here is that old and new kamma do not override other causal factors (the other 4 niyamas) operating in the universe — such as those recognized by the physical sciences — but instead find their expression within those factors.

To put it simply, karma expresses itself through the other 4 niyamas.  In other words, natural disasters, for example, are not just the effect of natural earthly forces at play, but are influences or directed by karma as well.  It seems that all the niyamas are intertwined.

Middleway

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Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #144 on: August 05, 2014, 02:22:19 AM »
No problem buddy.  Google always works, but here's a link to some information about the niyamas if you're not in the mood to do a quick search:

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http://buddhism.about.com/od/basicbuddhistteachings/tp/The-Five-Niyamas.htm
Thanks for the link. The writer in that article says that "from a Buddhist perspective, natural disasters such as earthquakes are not caused by karma".

Also, referring to Sutta 36.21, I still cannot understand what malfunctioning gall bladder has to do with natural disasters. I do realize there are man-made disasters such as landslides resulting from wide spread deforestation; earthquakes caused by building massive dams near fault zones etc.

I cannot think of a reason or bad karma those poor dinosaurs have done to deserve extinction in such a manner. Maybe we should leave it here or if you like you could have the last word.
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

VinceField

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Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #145 on: August 05, 2014, 02:55:06 AM »
I'm not sure if I my word will be the last, but I do have something to say.  But thanks for giving me the option.  ;D

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"from a Buddhist perspective, natural disasters such as earthquakes are not caused by karma".

This seems to be the opinion of the writer.  I'm not sure how much of an authority he is on the subject.  It would seem that there are some very prominent Buddhist monks who may disagree with this.  My viewpoint based on my understanding of the teachings is that the earthquake itself was not necessarily caused by the niyama of karma, but it is karma which determines how individuals are affected by the earthquake.  Perhaps one person survives the earthquake and a person next to him gets crushed by a falling rock.  That would seem to be the result of one's karma.  The other four niyamas created the event but karma determines how one is affected. 

I haven't come across a teaching of the Buddha saying that one may reap that which one has not sown, but rather the teaching is that one reaps that which one has sown. 

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I still cannot understand what malfunctioning gall bladder has to do with natural disasters.

It is not the gall bladder itself that is relevant, but the non-karmic forces which are referred to that are of importance.  These non-karmic forces are the other four niyamas.  To some it would seem that the malfunctioning of the gall bladder is not a result of karma, but is simply the result of other natural and biological laws of cause and effect (the other niyamas), but Thanissaro seems to be saying that karma works through the four other niyamas and that these forces do not affect humans independent of karma. 

Dharmic Tui

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Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #146 on: August 05, 2014, 10:41:01 AM »
Seems to point towards a moral universe. Is that a thing? Im not so sure.

maybe Google can tell me. I typed in Nirvana once but all I got what this Cobain guy.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2014, 01:25:44 PM by Dharmic Tui »

Matthew

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Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #147 on: August 06, 2014, 08:37:17 PM »
No problem buddy.  Google always works, but here's a link to some information about the niyamas if you're not in the mood to do a quick search:

Vince, perhaps you are not really aware of how the above comes across. Could you please stop the passive aggressive put-downs buddy ?

Regarding the sutta and Therissano's commentary on it:

I'm not keen on commentaries. If you read the alternative translation it gives an unequivocal view contradictory to that you keep pushing:

"Now when these ascetics and brahmans have such a doctrine and view that 'whatever a person experiences, be it pleasure, pain or neither-pain-nor-pleasure, all that is caused by previous action,' then they go beyond what they know by themselves and what is accepted as true by the world. Therefore, I say that this is wrong on the part of these ascetics and brahmans."

M
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

VinceField

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Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #148 on: August 06, 2014, 09:34:58 PM »
No problem buddy.  Google always works, but here's a link to some information about the niyamas if you're not in the mood to do a quick search:

Vince, perhaps you are not really aware of how the above comes across. Could you please stop the passive aggressive put-downs buddy ?

Don't be silly, it was not a put down. :angel: Simply a subtle way to suggest that rather than relying on others for information, the answers to some of our questions are well within our own reach, as we have a world of information at our fingertips.  I didn't want to come right out and say stop being lazy and do a second of research because that would be wrong speech, but I believe it is helpful advice that instead of waiting around for someone else to provide information to you, you can just do a quick search and access that information for yourself without having to rely on anyone else.  Self sufficiency is a wholesome attribute to develop. 

Dharmic Tui

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Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #149 on: August 06, 2014, 11:25:39 PM »
Perhaps some people like conversing rather than passing links or cut pasting.

 

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